Antalya Everything is over after an hour and a half: the first meeting of the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia since the beginning of the war ends without a result. Lavrov comments on a meeting between Putin and Zelenskyy.
The first meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine since the beginning of the war did not bring any significant progress.
It was also not possible to agree on humanitarian corridors for the Azov Sea city of Mariupol, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Antalya, Turkey. Lavrov accused the West of exacerbating the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine. “We see how dangerous our Western colleagues, including the European Union, are now acting.”
The conversation in a hotel – the first since the Russian attack on the neighboring country two weeks ago – barely lasted an hour and a half. Until then, only lower-level negotiators from both sides had met.
Kuleba: Decisions are made by others in Russia
Kuleba later said that Lavrov was unable to organize the escape corridors himself. “He will discuss this with the relevant authorities in Russia,” the Ukrainian minister said. In addition, a 24-hour ceasefire was discussed “to solve the most urgent humanitarian problems.”
Literally, Kuleba said: “We have not made progress on this issue. Because it seems that these decisions are being made by others in Russia.”
Both Lavrov and Kuleba were, in principle, ready to continue the talks. “We are for any contact. But the contacts must bring added value,” Lavrov said. As a condition, Kuleba stated that there were “prospects for substantial discussions and a serious search for solutions.”
Lavrov: Putin has nothing against meetings with Zelenskyy
According to Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin also has nothing against meeting with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy. However, this requires some “preparation work”.
Lavrov claimed that Russia did not attack Ukraine. Rather, his country feels its security threatened. Kuleba said that the conversation was easy and difficult at the same time. “Simply because Minister Lavrov basically presented his traditional narratives on Ukraine. Difficult because I did my best to at least find a diplomatic solution to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding before our eyes on the battlefield of besieged cities.”
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